Manual Too Many Godmothers

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Crino said that her religious education class now includes very few Hispanics, a group that had previously attended in larger numbers. Today her class is about half Filipinos, Poles and Indians. When Catholics come to the United States, they transmit their faith for about a generation and a half, she said. But Maria Hayes, who immigrated from Warsaw two years ago, said that at least in Poland, strong religious identity does not always translate into strong personal faith.

How to Choose the Right Godparent | America Magazine

She estimated that 90 percent of Poles consider themselves Catholic, and religion is routinely taught in the schools. But this ubiquitous Catholicism, she said, is mainly a cultural identity and lacks a spiritual component. Hayes said. You still get the sacraments, though. I never went to church as a child, but I went to first Communion and got a party. Hayes left the faith but reverted as a young adult. When she married and gave birth to her daughter, she and her husband chose a close friend to be the godmother; but since the friend's husband is a Methodist pastor, she chose her husband's friend to be the godfather.

Then her friend asked her to become the godmother of her first son. But we pray for them, and they know our views. Ekblad said. After her reversion, Ms. Some of her children, who range in age from 1 to 26, are now old enough to be godparents for their own siblings. Ekblad does not know if the relationships between these pairs would be as strong as they are without that spiritual tie, but she is certain it is good for the older kids to have the responsibility of praying for their siblings and being active in forming their faith.

Sometimes it is someone she would have never considered on her own or someone the family does not see often. Ekblad has suffered many miscarriages, and she chooses godparents for those children, too. Godparents are often chosen before babies are born. Then they discovered that the child had a severe heart defect and encephalitis. The doctors said that if she survived birth, she would be blind, unable to walk or talk and would only ever suffer.

They pressured the parents to abort, but as staunch Catholics, Cathy and her husband resisted.

23 Replies to “Godparents: Questions and Answers”

There was nothing that could be done. My job was to pray with them and to pray for them and to be present as much as they needed me.

The baby, named Betsy, was born almost full term. She had heart surgery and lived to be 9 years old before her shunt finally failed. When Betsy died, over 1, people attended her funeral, where the priest reminded the congregation of the candle that Ms. Nelson remembers the priest saying. Afterward, more than one person told Ms. Nelson that they had been away from the church but that the funeral sermon made them rethink things, and they wanted to start going to Mass again. As with all things infused with grace, the godparenting relationship can work in more than one way, drawing both child and godparent closer to Christ.

It enlarges the family by adding names to the roles, but it also strengthens the family ties within the communion of saints—even before birth, even after death.

You Can’t Have Too Many Fairy Godmothers!

This article also appeared in print, under the headline "How to Choose the Right Godparent: Baptisms can bring fallen away Catholics back to the faith," in the October 15, issue. She blogs daily at simchafisher. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and 10 kids. Your source for jobs, books, retreats, and much more. How to Choose the Right Godparent.


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